A Bankruptcy Attorney Could Help Solve Your Debt Problems
A Bankruptcy attorney helps individuals and families that need them to correctly navigate the confusing and dangerous water of bankruptcy law. There are many ways to mess up your bankruptcy filing, and if you don't have a lawyer familiar with the process to consult beforehand, you're very likely to make a minor error that throws the whole process into a tailspin before you even get started.
A Bankruptcy Attorney Can Make Filing Simple
Schmidt Law Firm has an experienced bankruptcy attorney that is ready to help you file for bankruptcy, and with their experience, you'll find that filing is relatively simple. 'Simple', unfortunately, is not the same thing as 'easy' -- the decision to commit to bankruptcy and all of the problems that can come with it is never easy. But once you've talked with one of our experts and together come to the conclusion that bankruptcy really is the right answer for you and your family, we'll strive to smooth out the complexities and make your bankruptcy as simple as we can. If you have additional bankruptcy-related filings such as a stay of foreclosure or stay of garnishment, we can work with those as well.
What Do The Different Chapters Mean?
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called liquidation or complete bankruptcy, and is the most common form of bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, a certain selection of your personal property and real property are exempt from collection, and the rest are gathered, liquidated (i.e. sold for cash), and the cash is then distributed amongst your creditors. The remainders of your debts are forgiven; with certain exceptions including certain debts owed the government, certain student loans, and certain domestic support orders.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy is called reorganization, and applies only to businesses. A business filing for Chapter 11 must work with a court-appointed officer and a bankruptcy attorney to come up with a plan to reorganize the business, including rescaling, agreeing to pay some proportion of some debts and having the court discharge others. The creditors must all receive copies of the plan once it's written, and can submit their opinions to the judge, but the judge gets the final call.
- Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, both called adjustment bankruptcy, are almost identical, but Chapter 12 bankruptcy applies to family farmers and is designed to allow them to keep farming while paying back their debts. In both cases, the family filing for bankruptcy makes a plan to pay their debts based on their stable source of income (if you don't have a stable source of income, you cannot file for Chapters 12 or 13.) The court approves the 3-5 year plan (designed by an experienced bankruptcy attorney), and from that moment on, the debtor is protected from any legal action by his or her creditors. At the end of the plan, any remaining debts are discharged and you become debt-free. As with Chapter 7, some debts, including certain government debts, certain back taxes, certain student loans and domestic support orders cannot be discharged.
The Downside of Filing for Bankruptcy
As any bankruptcy attorney will tell you, there are a few very good reasons to avoid bankruptcy if possible. The most dire reason is that a bankruptcy is unavoidably stamped on your financial record for a period of 8 to 10 years (after your plan is complete if you went with Chapter 13,) during which time anyone who does a credit check on you will see that you went bankrupt. This can make it very hard to do anything from lease a car to get a credit card.
This does not mean that it's impossible to get a credit card, however, and that's where some people go very wrong -- filing for bankruptcy is not free license to start racking up new debts, and the credit cards that are available to you after bankruptcy are generally extremely predatory, with extraordinary rates. A bankruptcy attorney would strongly suggest that after bankruptcy you avoid credit cards and other debt-accumulation tools altogether.
Also, bankruptcies are public information, and there are many places in the country where the local newspapers list all people filing for bankruptcy right along with births, marriages, and obituaries. The publicity, even if minor, can be extremely humiliating in some circumstances.
Are You Ready To File?
If you are -- or if you're uncertain and you would like to consult with our bankruptcy attorney about your options -- call Schmidt Law Firm today at 888-459-3077, and make sure you're making the right decision for your family's long-term financial and emotional health.